U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after the Senate passed the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012), legislation that would modernize energy policy and help maximize development in this economic sector. Included in the final bill was a Thune provision to create a coordinating subcommittee within the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) focused on high energy physics and a separate provision he introduced with Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) that would facilitate a permanent land transfer of Bureau of Land Management land to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery.
“It would be an understatement to say this energy bill would not have passed without Sen. Murkowski’s hard work,” said Thune. “She spent a great deal of time working with senators on both sides of the aisle to make sure this bill – the first energy bill in nearly a decade – passed the Senate with bipartisan support.
“I also want to thank Sen. Murkowski for working with me to ensure my amendment to create a special NSTC subcommittee on high energy physics was considered and adopted. This newly created coordinating subcommittee would be tasked with maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. investment in high energy physics research and supporting a robust, internationally competitive high energy physics program, which we’re proud to be a part of in South Dakota.”
The subcommittee’s work would benefit underground science and engineering research, like the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment that will be conducted at the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, which is being constructed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.
The NSTC was created by executive order in 1993 to coordinate federal science and technology policy, and its membership consists of the president, vice president, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), cabinet secretaries, and other government officials involved in science and technology.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which Thune is chairman, has jurisdiction over the NSTC and OSTP.